You are on page 1of 12

MATERIAL PROPERTIES FOR ANALYSIS OF DEEP MIXING SUPPORT SYSTEMS

George Filz, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA, filz@vt.edu


Alex Reeb, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, USA, reeba@vt.edu
Alex Grenoble, HDR Inc., Charlotte, NC, USA, alex.grenoble@hdrinc.com
Farzad Abedzadeh, HDR Inc., Charlotte, NC, USA, farzad.abedzadehanaraki@hdrinc.com
ABSTRACT
This paper summarizes available information on the characteristics and properties of deep-mixed soilcement produced by the wet method. The topics covered in this paper include: unit weight, unconfined
compressive strength, strength variability for field mixed materials, influence of curing time, influence of
consolidation pressure, Youngs modulus, differences in strength and stiffness between small and large
samples, creep deformations, Poissons ratio, and tensile strength. In addition, this paper discusses the
development of design considerations and recommended property values for a project that uses soilcement to protect an existing dam penstock from loads applied by an overlying stability berm. Some of
the key recommendations for the deep-mixed soil-cement to be used in this project are that (1) a curved
strength envelope that includes tensile strength can be used in the analysis, (2) the stress-strain and
strength properties can be characterized using Duncan and Chang's (1970) hyperbolic model, and (3) a
specification based on the median unconfined compressive strength value is appropriate.
Keywords: deep mixing, soil-cement, modulus, stiffness, strength, creep, tension, specifications

INTRODUCTION
For many projects, including foundation and embankment support, deep mixing can be designed based on
simplified procedures and following standardized guidelines (e.g., FHWA 2013). However for unusually
complex or critical projects, it is often necessary to perform numerical analyses, and in order to perform
these numerical analyses well, a thorough understanding of the material properties is needed.
This paper summarizes information on the characteristics and properties of deep-mixed soil-cement
produced by the wet method, and it discusses the development of design considerations and
recommended property values for a specific project, herein referred to as the penstock project, that
requires numerical analyses. For the penstock project, a horseshoe-shaped enclosure of soil-cement is
being considered beside and above an existing dam penstock to protect it from loads applied by an
overlying stability berm that will be constructed for seismic remediation. The concept is to use soilcement created by the deep mixing method along the sides of the penstock and to use compacted soilcement above the deep mixing to create the crown of the protective soil-cement zone around the penstock.
For this application, the soil-cement stiffness, rather than its strength, is the controlling design parameter.
To achieve the necessary soil-cement stiffness, the strength will be high enough that the factor-of-safety
values against instability along potential failure surfaces passing through the soil-cement are high.
Following conventional practice, the soil-cement acceptance criteria will be based on the unconfined
compressive strength, and the specified strength will be selected to produce the desired modulus value.
Although the information in this paper was developed for a project focused on deformation control, it
may also be useful for projects whose objective is improving bearing capacity and stability, with
appropriate consideration of those failure modes.

823

2015 Deep Foundations Institute

CHARACTERISTICS AND PROPERTIES OF DEEP-MIXED SOIL-CEMENT


This section presents information from published literature as well as recent and current projects on the
characteristics and properties of deep-mixed soil-cement. The following topics are discussed: unit weight,
unconfined compressive strength, strength variability for field mixed materials, influence of curing time,
influence of consolidation pressure, Youngs modulus, differences in strength and stiffness between small
and large samples, creep deformations, Poissons ratio, and tensile strength. Additional information on
these topics is included in FHWA (2013) and other sources.
Unit weight
For the wet method of deep mixing, Kitazume and Terashi (2013) and Filz et al. (2012) indicate that the
change in unit weight due to mixing is generally small enough to ignore. However, mixing could produce
a decrease in the unit weight if the following are relatively large: the initial unit weight of the soil, the
water-to-cement ratio of the slurry, the ratio of the volume of slurry to the volume of the soil to be mixed,
and the area replacement ratio. Phase relationships provided by Hodges et al. (2008) can be used to
calculate the final unit weight of the mixture, if a more accurate estimate is deemed necessary.
Unconfined compressive strength
Numerous factors influence the strength of deep-mixed soil-cement, including: soil type, binder type,
binder amount, water-to-binder ratio, mixing thoroughness, curing time, curing conditions, and loading
conditions.
Values of unconfined compression strength, UCS, of laboratory-mixed specimens up to about 4,000 psi
have been reported for wet mixing, depending on the base soil type and the binder type and amount, with
typical values in the range of 100 psi to 300 psi and the highest values for wet mixing occurring when
sand soils are mixed using high binder factors and low total-water-to-cement ratios (JGS 2000).
Given all of the factors that affect the strength of treated soils, the Japanese Coastal Development Institute
of Technology (CDIT 2002) indicates that it is not possible to predict within a reasonable level of
accuracy the strength that will result from adding a particular amount of binder to a given soil based on
the in-situ characteristics of the soil. Consequently, laboratory mix design studies must be performed
using soils obtained from a project site. Field trials are also common.
Strength variability for field mixed materials
Observed values of coefficients of variation of UCS of field mixed soil-cement range from about 0.3 to
0.8, and the distribution is generally log-normal (Larsson 2005, Filz and Navin 2010). Recent projects in
New Orleans have produced coefficients of variation of about 0.4. Specifications for deep mixing
generally require that 80% or 90% of the measured UCS values equal or exceed the specified value. For a
log-normal distribution with a coefficient of variation equal to 0.4, the median value of the measured
strengths is about two times the specified strength when 80% of the measured values exceed the specified
UCS.
Filz et al. (2012) recommend use of a variability factor to account for the relatively high variability of
strength measurements of cored specimens of field-mixed soil-cement compared to the variability of
strength for naturally deposited soils. For a typical set of system variables, this factor could range from
about 0.5 to 1.0. The variability factor was developed to achieve reliability against shear failure of an
entire soil-cement foundation system.

824

Influence of curing time


Kitazume and Terashi (2013) report data demonstrating a linear increase in the strength of soil-cement
mixtures with the logarithm of time. Several of these data sets extend for years, including one data set
extending to 20 years.
Filz et al. (2012) evaluated the influence of curing time from a large number of studies reported in the
literature and proposed that the ratio of the unconfined compressive strength, UCS, at times greater than
28 days to the UCS at 28 days can be conservatively estimated as 0.187*ln(t) + 0.375, where t is the time
in days after mixing. This relationship is near the lower bound of data for cement and cement-slag blends
mixed with a wide variety of soil types using the wet method of deep mixing. An important exception is
that some organic soils mixed with cement without slag exhibit very low rates of strength gain with time.
Influence of consolidation pressure
Kitazume and Terashi (2013) present data from unconfined compression tests in comparison to results
from consolidated-undrained and consolidated-drained triaxial tests. The test results show that
consolidation pressure does not have a significant effect on peak strength until consolidation pressure
exceeds about 1.3 times the UCS for undrained tests and about 0.2 times the UCS for drained tests.
Unconfined compression tests on soil-cement mixtures typically exhibit large reductions in post-peak
strength. The comparative test results presented by Kitazume and Terashi (2013) exhibit peak strength at
a strain less than 1% in unconfined compression tests, with a reduction to about 20% of the peak strength
at strains of about 3% to 5%. However, in consolidated-drained tests, the post-peak strength loss was
much less, with large-strain strengths about 50% of the peak UCS for consolidation pressures of 10% to
20% of the UCS. In consolidated-undrained tests, the large-strain strengths were 80% or more of the UCS,
for confining pressures as low as 1% of the UCS.
Consolidation pressures had very little effect on modulus values for the test data shown by Kitazume and
Terashi (2013).
Youngs modulus
Young's modulus values from unconfined compression tests on soil-cement mixtures are often reported in
terms of E50, which is the secant modulus at 50% of the UCS. Modulus data typically exhibit a high
degree of scatter, and it is not always reported whether the modulus values are determined from
displacement of end platens or from "local" strain measurements in which the transducer is mounted
directly on the specimen. Local strain measurements generally produce higher values of modulus than
end-platen measurements due to compliance at the ends of the specimens resulting from ends that are not
completely planar and parallel. Because soil-cement mixtures have high modulus values with
correspondingly small strains, a small amount of compliance at the ends of specimens can have a big
effect on modulus values determined from end-platen measurements.
For soil-cement mixtures created by the wet method of deep mixing, Topolniki (2012) reports that E50 is
about 380 times UCS, Filz et al. (2012) report that E50 is about 300 times UCS, and Kitazume and Terashi
(2013) report that E50 ranges from about 350 to 1,000 times UCS. The data analyzed by Topolniki (2012)
and Filz et al. (2012) are believed to be from end-platen measurements, but the type of strain
measurements used to generate the data reported by Kitazume and Terashi (2013) were not specified.
Denies et al. (2014) provide data from five deep mixing projects in Belgium for which modulus values are
reported using both local strain gage measurements and end-platen measurements. The average ratio of
825

modulus values from local strain gage measurements to modulus values from end-platen measurements
for these tests is 1.8. It appears that these modulus values were determined from cyclic tests conducted
using a relatively small change in deviator stress and after many cycles of loading, which represents a
highly specialized test condition in which some end compaction may be removed from the comparison.
Research currently underway at Virginia Tech involves laboratory testing of sandy lean clay mixed with
cement-water slurry. The results of unconfined compression tests produce E50/UCS values of about 800 to
900 from local strain gage measurements and about 180 from end-platen measurements. According to the
local strain measurements, the strain at 50% of the UCS is 0.05% to 0.08%, and the strain at peak strength
is 0.15% to 0.6%. These tests are for UCS values in the range from 200 to 700 psi, and the strains at 50%
of UCS and at peak strength appear to be independent of UCS. The strain at peak strength is typically
about five times the strain at 50% of UCS.
The lead author recently worked on a project in Burnaby, British Columbia, in which unconfined
compression tests with local strain measurements were performed on wet mixed specimens formed from
predominately silty soils. For these tests, the ratio of E50/UCS ranged from 350 to 680, with an average
value of 550. The strain at 50% of the UCS was 0.07% to 0.14%, and the strain at peak strength was
0.23% to 0.55%. These tests were for UCS values in the range from 200 to 800 psi. The strain at peak
strength was about four times the strain at 50% of UCS.
Laboratory mixing test programs were performed using soils from the penstock project site, which are
described as residual silty sand. There is scatter in the data, but the results from UCS tests indicate an
E50/UCS value of about 625 from local strain gage measurements and about 300 from end-platen
measurements. According to the local strain measurements, the typical strain to 50% of the UCS was
about 0.08%, and the typical strain to failure values was about 0.5%. These tests were for UCS values in
the range from 400 to 900 psi. The strain at peak strength was about six times the strain to 50% of the
UCS. This result is similar to that for the recent construction project in British Colombia and the current
research at Virginia Tech described previously.
Kitazume and Terashi (2013) present a plot showing the strain to failure typically ranging from about 1%
to 2% for cement treated soil. These strains are larger than those from the local strain measurements
described above.
Differences in strength and stiffness between small and large samples
Kitazume and Terashi (2013) present a comparison of the UCS of core samples with the strength of entire
columns that had been removed from the ground and tested in unconfined compression. The UCS of the
full-scale columns was about 70% of the UCS of core samples. Kitazume and Terashi (2013) do not
present results comparing modulus values of entire columns and core specimens.
Denies et al. (2014) summarized results from testing done in Belgium in which the results of unconfined
compression tests on 10-cm diameter core specimens were compared with tests on approximately 50-cm
by 50-cm blocks trimmed from deep-mixed elements that were extracted from the ground. The UCS of
the large blocks was about 70% of the UCS of the core samples. Denies et al. (2014) also determined
modulus values of the large blocks by measuring displacements of points about 40 cm apart along the
longitudinal axes of the blocks. The average of the ratios of the modulus values from the large blocks to
the modulus values from the core specimens using local strain gages is 1.12, indicating a slight increase in
modulus values for the large blocks in comparison to the modulus values for the core specimens.
A related piece of information is that Vervoot et al. (2012) performed a numerical study of the influence
of inclusions of unmixed material on the strength of soil-cement. The results are that small percentages of
826

unmixed soil inclusions produced relatively large decreases in strength but relatively small decreases in
modulus. This suggests that the stiffness of a large mass of soil-cement with unmixed inclusions may not
be much different from the stiffness of small samples relatively free of unmixed inclusions.
Creep deformations
Kitazume and Terashi (2013) provide data showing linear decreases in the logarithm of strain rate with
increasing logarithm of time for soil-cement specimens in unconfined compression subject to constant
stress. The strain rates increase as the stress level increases, but log-strain-rate-versus-log-time lines are
parallel for all stress levels, except for a test with an applied stress equal to 91% of the strength, in which
case failure occurred after a few minutes of load application.
Based on this information and knowledge about the initial stress strain response of the soil-cement, the
effect of long-term creep deformations can be calculated. For a soil-cement specimen that is loaded to a
constant stress that is 50% of the UCS, the data from Kitazume and Terashi (2013) show the long-term
creep strain is 0.04%. If the short-term strain in laboratory tests is 0.08% at 50% of UCS, as typically
occurred for the penstock project, and if creep then produces an additional strain of 0.04%, the long-term
modulus is reduced to 67% of the short-term modulus.
Poisson's ratio
Topolniki (2012) recommends values of Poisson's ratio in the range from 0.3 to 0.4. Kitazume and
Terashi (2013) report values of Poisson's ratio from about 0.25 to 0.5.
Tensile strength
In this paper, tensile stresses and strengths are assigned negative values, and the ratio of the absolute
value of the tensile strength to the UCS, |t|/UCS, is positive, where t is the tensile strength.
According to the Deep Mixing section of a 1997 report by the ASCE Soil Improvement and
Geosynthetics Committee (Schaefer et al. 1997), the tensile strength obtained from split tension tests
(Brazilian tension tests) is smaller in magnitude than the tensile strength obtained from direct uniaxial
tension tests. The report also indicates that, for UCS values less than about 850 psi, split tension tests
produce values of |t|/UCS in the range from 0.08 to 0.14.
Kitazume and Terashi (2013) summarize information from a few investigations of the strength of soilcement created by the deep mixing method:
For cement-treated and quicklime-treated soils with an initial water content of 100% to 200%, Terashi
et al. (1980) found that the value of |t|/UCS from split tension tests was about 0.15 for UCS values
up to about 1.5 MPa (220 psi). The tensile strength magnitude increased much less rapidly as the UCS
increased above 1.5 MPa. For the same soils, bending tests resulted in values of |t|/UCS in the range
of 0.1 to 0.6 for UCS values up to about 3 MPa (440 psi).
Namikawa and Koseki (2007) investigated the tensile strength of Toyoura sand stabilized with
cement and bentonite. For UCS values ranging up to about 5 MPa (730 psi), they found |t|/UCS
values of about 0.08 to 0.30 from split tension tests, 0.07 to 0.20 from direct tension tests, and 0.15 to
0.51 from bending tests.
Saitoh et al. (1996) investigated the tensile strength of laboratory-mixed and field-mixed soils. The
laboratory mixed soils had sand contents ranging from 0% to 13%. For UCS values up to about 5
MPa (730 psi), the |t|/UCS values were about 0.1 for split tension tests, and |t|/UCS decreased from

827

about 0.3 to 0.1 for direct tension tests as the UCS values increased. For the field mixed soils, the
values of |t|/UCS from split tension tests ranged from about 0.06 to 0.2 for sandy and clayey soils.
For deep mixed soils, Terashi and Kitazume (2013) recommend that the design tensile strength can be
taken as -15% of the design UCS, with a limiting tensile strength of -200 kPa (-30 psi).
Denies et al. (2012) performed tensile splitting tests on deep mixed soil specimens from five projects in
Belgium and found that the value of |t|/UCS is about 0.11 for UCS values up to about 15 MPa (2,200
psi). Although the data exhibit substantial scatter, there does not appear to be a decrease in the |t|/UCS
value as the UCS strength increases.
Research currently underway at Virginia Tech involves testing of sandy lean clay mixed in the laboratory
with cement-water slurry. As shown in Fig. 1, the value of |t|/UCS from split tension tests is about 0.2
for UCS values in the range from about 150 to 700 psi. The specimens used in the tests whose results are
shown in Fig. 1 were very thoroughly mixed in the laboratory using a base soil that was fabricated to be
easy to mix, and these factors may have contributed to the very small amount of scatter in the data.
0

100

Unconfined Compressive Strength (psi)


200
300
400
500
600
700

800

Tensile Strength (psi)

0
-20
-40
-60
-80
-100
-120
-140

-160
Fig. 1. Tension splitting test results versus UCS on samples of sandy lean clay mixed with watercement slurry

RECOMMENDATIONS
Based on the information presented in the previous section and based on laboratory mix tests using soils
from the penstock project site, recommendations are provided for the analysis of the deep-mixed soilcement. These recommendations include property values for the soil-cement unit weight, strength, and
stiffness, as well as specification guidance. This section lists some of the design considerations and
provides the recommendations for the penstock project.
Considerations in selecting design values
The recommendations were developed for use in deterministic analyses. Some of the considerations in
selecting design values include:
The purpose of the strength variability factor is to achieve reliability against collapse. Since the
objective of the deep mixing at the penstock project is to limit deformations and because the
replacement ratio will be nearly 100%, it was judged that the variability factor did not need to be
applied.

828

It may be reasonable to consider strength gain resulting from curing times greater than 28 days for
projects where the full design load is not applied until more than 28 days after mixing. Most of the
new embankment load at the penstock project may not be applied until more than 28 days after
mixing. However, the strength of the soil-cement will not be the controlling factor for design. Instead,
the stress-strain properties will control design, and the 28-day strength can be used as an index for the
stress-strain properties for design. Ordinarily, 28-day strengths are also used as the basis for accepting
construction work. For these reasons, only 28-day strengths were considered for the penstock project.
Projects with large uncertainty in the loading conditions and/or large consequences of failure should
be designed using large factors of safety and/or large strength reduction factors. For the penstock
project, conservative criteria have been adopted for the allowable penstock loads, so realistic
properties of the deep-mixed soil-cement are being used for the analyses.
Field mixing may not be as thorough as laboratory mixing, particularly for hard-to-mix soils like
plastic clays. Unmixed inclusions in field-mixed soil may serve as crack initiation points with low
compressive and tensile strengths. Thoroughness of field mixing depends on the mixing equipment
and procedures, as well as the mix proportions. At the penstock project, the soils are sandy, and
thorough mixing with good QC/QA procedures is anticipated.
Repetitive shear panels and mass stabilization of large areas in field applications would tend to
mitigate the likelihood that occasional inclusions of unmixed material would reduce the tensile
strength of the treated soil system. For field applications that use isolated columns, inclusions of
unmixed materials could significantly reduce the tensile strength of individual columns. The penstock
project involves mass stabilization of a large area.
The authors are not aware of any tensile testing of soil-cement using fast loading rates. Rapid loading
of concrete does produce an increase in tensile strength. It seems likely that rapid loading of soilcement, such as could occur during earthquake shaking, would produce an increase in tensile strength.
A fundamental difference between tensile strength and compressive strength is that there is no
residual tensile strength after tensile failure occurs, whereas there is some residual compressive
strength at post-peak compressive strains, particularly when the soil-cement is subject to confining
pressure. Additional information on the strain softening behavior of soil-cement is presented by
Kitazume and Terashi (2013) and included in FHWA (2013).
Laboratory and field verification testing, as well as the deep mixing contractors ability to adapt
procedures for variability in soil and environmental conditions, are essential to the success of deep
mixing construction projects.

Considering these issues and others identified by Kitazume and Terashi (2013) and FHWA (2013), the
following recommendations are made for the penstock project.
Unit weight
The same unit weight is recommended for the soil-cement as is estimated for the original untreated
ground.
Strength
Compressive strength
Based on the information presented previously and consistent with usual practice for design of deep
mixing support systems constructed using the wet method, the strength of soil-cement can be
characterized using a shear strength that is independent of confining pressure, with a total-normal-stress
friction angle of zero. The cohesion intercept can be calculated as one-half of 70% of the small-sample
UCS. The factor of one-half is to provide the shear strength from the UCS, and the factor of 0.7 is to
provide the mass strength in terms of the small-sample strength.

829

Based on the laboratory test results using soil from the penstock project, a small-scale UCS within the
range from 300 to 600 psi can be selected for the penstock project. Applying the mass strength factor to
the small-scale UCS for this project indicates that a suitable range of design shear strengths is
0.5*0.7*(300 to 600 psi) = 100 psi to 200 psi.
Tensile strength
The data summarized previously exhibit substantial variation in the values of tensile strength and in the
ratio of tensile strength to unconfined compression strength, |t|/UCS. Because no tensile tests were
performed on soil-cement specimens fabricated from penstock project materials and because tensile
failure is a brittle phenomenon, a conservative value of |t|/UCS equal to 0.12 is recommended for design
of the deep-mixed soil-cement at the penstock project.
Shape of strength envelope including tension
For a direct tension test, the corresponding Mohr's circle has a minor principal stress equal to t, and a
major principle stress equal to zero. To properly represent this condition, the strength envelope should
follow a circular shape beginning at the tensile strength, and then transition to an envelope that represents
the shear strength in the compression zone (Mike Duncan, personal communication, Nov. 2014). One
such strength envelope is shown in Fig. 2.
Figure 2 presents a strength envelope with a friction angle, , of zero, UCS = 600 psi, and |t|/UCS = 0.12.
As the normal stress increases, this strength envelope begins with a circular shape at the tensile strength,
followed by a straight-line segment that is tangent to the direct tension Mohr's circle and the unconfined
compression Mohr's circle, then a circular shape around a portion of the unconfined compression Mohr's
circle, and finally a horizontal straight-line continuation defined by the cohesion intercept, c, and a
friction angle, , of zero. The inclination, t, and the cohesion intercept, ct, of the straight-line portion of
the envelope tangent to and between the tension and unconfined compression Mohr's circles are given by:
f

1 | |

arcsin 1

[1]

| | tan f
1 | |

[2]

Based on Eqns. 1 and 2, if UCS = 600 psi, = 0, and |t|/UCS = 0.12, this produces t = -72 psi, ct = 104
psi, and t = 52 deg. The corresponding strength envelope is shown in Fig. 2.
The strength envelope characteristics shown in Fig. 2 are recommended for the deep-mixed soil-cement at
the penstock project, with the particular parameter values selected as part of the design process.
Depending on the capabilities of the computer programs used to perform the analyses, it may be
necessary to simplify the curved strength envelope described here and/or divide the soil-cement into
zones for which different portions of the strength envelopes are applicable.

830

Shear Stress, (psi)

400

Strength Envelope

300

200
Unconfined Compression
Mohr's Circle

Direct Tension
Mohr's Circle

100

0
-100

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

Normal Stress, (psi)


Fig. 2. Proposed example strength envelope for deep-mixed soil-cement including tension

Stiffness
Young's modulus
A nonlinear stress-strain relationship is recommended for the deep-mixed soil-cement using Duncan and
Chang's (1970) hyperbolic model. The initial Young's modulus is assumed to be independent of confining
pressure. For these conditions, the hyperbolic model can be expressed by:
1

[3]

[4]

where Et = the tangent Young's modulus, Ei = the initial Young's modulus, Es = the secant Young's
modulus, Rf = the failure ratio, which controls the nonlinearity of the stress-strain response, and SL = the
stress level, which is the deviator stress divided by the deviator stress at failure. The influence of Rf on
modulus ratios and strain ratios that illustrate the extent of nonlinearity is shown in Fig. 3, where Rf = 0
corresponds to linear stress-strain response, and Rf = 1 corresponds to the full hyperbolic nonlinear
response.

831

2.0

20

1.5

15

1.0

10

f /50

Ei /E50
0.5

0.0

0
0.0

0.2

0.4

0.6
0.8
1.0
Rf
Fig. 3. Influence of Rf on nonlinearity in Duncan and Chang's (1970) hyperbolic model

For the penstock project, the typical value of the ratio of the strain at failure to the strain at 50% of UCS,
f /50, from UCS tests with local strain measurements is about six, which corresponds to an Rf value of 0.8
and an Ei /E50 value of 1.7, according to Fig. 3. The values of Ei from the tests were not always well
defined, perhaps due to the small strains involved, but an Ei /E50 value of 1.7 is reasonably consistent with
the data. Consequently, an Rf value of 0.8 is recommended.
Considerations involved in selecting a suitable value of Ei for the penstock project include:
1. Selection of the small-scale UCS, which is recommended to be in the range of 300 psi to 600 psi.
2. The ratio of E50 to UCS is about 625 for UCS tests from the project with local strain measurements.
3. According to data presented by Kitazume and Terashi (2013), long-term creep may contribute an
additional strain of 0.04% at 50% of the UCS. For the penstock project, the typical strain to 50% of
the UCS was about 0.08%. Therefore, the long-term modulus is reduced to about 67% of the shortterm modulus.
4. Data from Denies et al. (2014) indicate that no reduction in the large-scale Young's modulus is
necessary in comparison to Young's modulus values from small-scale tests, even though the reduction
in strength for large-scale tests is about 70% of the strength of small-scale tests according to data
presented by Kitazume and Terashi (2013) and Denies et al. (2014).
For the penstock project, the reduction in stiffness for creep is about 67%, while the reduction in strength
for large-scale effects is about the same at 70%, and it does not appear necessary to apply a reduction for
scale effects to stiffness. Consequently, a simple approach is to reduce the small-scale strength by a factor
of 0.7 to obtain the design strength, and retain the ratio of E50 to UCS at 625 from small-scale tests, but
apply this ratio to the reduced design UCS. With an Rf value of 0.8, the long-term Ei is (1.7)(625) = 1,000
times the design UCS, which is 2,000 times the design shear strength. As discussed previously, the
recommended design shear strengths range from 100 psi to 200 psi for small-scale UCS values of 300 to
600 psi, and the corresponding long-term values of Ei are 200,000 to 400,000 psi.
Poisson's ratio
Based on published values, a Poisson's ratio of 0.35 is recommended. Not enough is known about the
bulk modulus of soil-cement mixtures to recommend further refinement.

832

Specifications
To account for scale effects on strength, and thereby simultaneously account for long-term creep, the
design UCS (twice the design shear strength) should be multiplied by a factor of 1/0.7, which represents
an increase of approximately 50%. Thus, a design shear strength of 150 psi, which would correspond to a
design UCS of 300 psi, would result in a specified UCS of 450 psi.
Laboratory mixing and field mixing are not the same, and strength variability may be larger in the field
than in laboratory mixing. Deep mixing contractors generally use mixes that produce a higher strength in
the laboratory than specified for field mixing, often applying a factor of two or more. But that is generally
done when specifications require that a high percentage, e.g., 80% or 90%, of field-mixed specimens
equal or exceed the specified UCS.
For the penstock project, a different type of specification is appropriate because: (1) the objective is
deformation control, (2) the factor of safety against failure of the composite soil-cement support system
will be very high, and (3) the area replacement ratio will be very high, which will mitigate against
consequences of local variations in UCS. An appropriate specification for this project could, for example,
require (1) a median UCS equal to or larger than a selected value of specified strength in the range of 300
to 600 psi, with the particular value depending on analyses conducted to satisfy the design requirements,
(2) at least 80% or 90% of the measured UCS values should equal or exceed half of the specified UCS,
and (3) 80% or more recovery of mixed soil-cement should be achieved in every 5-ft core run. An
advantage of just specifying the UCS and core recovery requirements instead of also specifying modulus
and tensile strength requirements is that this approach simplifies the QC/QA and it reduces the burden on
the contractor.
Additional specification details will be developed as design proceeds. The GeoTechTools website
(www.geotechtools.org) includes a deep mixing guide specification, which can be adapted for the
penstock project and other deep mixing projects.
SUMMARY
This paper summarizes information on the characteristics and properties of deep-mixed soil-cement, and
it provides the design recommendations that were developed for the penstock project described in the
introduction. A few of the key recommendations for the deep-mixed soil-cement on this project were that
(1) a curved strength envelope that includes tensile strength can be used in the analysis, (2) the stressstrain and strength properties can be characterized using Duncan and Chang's (1970) hyperbolic model,
and (3) a specification based on the median UCS value is appropriate.
REFERENCES
Coastal Development Institute of Technology (CDIT). (2002). The Deep Mixing Method: Principle,
Design, and Construction. Balkema, Lisse, Netherlands.
Denies, N., Van Lysebetten, G., Huybrechts, N., De Cock, F., Lameire, B., Maertens, J., and Vervoort, A.
(2014). "Real-Scale Tests on Soil Mix Elements." Proc. Int. Conf. Piling & Deep Foundations,
Stockholm, Deep Foundations Institute, Hawthorne, NJ.
Duncan, J.M., and Chang, C-Y. (1970). Nonlinear Analysis of Stress and Strain in Soils." J. of the Soil
Mechanics and Foundations Division, 96(5), 1629-1653.

833

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). (2013). Federal Highway Administration Design Manual:
Deep Mixing for Embankment and Foundation Support. Rep. No. FHWA-HRT-13-046, FHWA,
Washington D.C.
Filz, G., Adams, T., Navin, M., and Templeton, A.E. (2012). "Design of Deep Mixing for Support of
Levees and Floodwalls." Proc. 4th Int. Conf. Grouting and Deep Mixing, ASCE Geotechnical Special
Publication, GSP, 228, 89-133.
Filz, G.M., and Navin, M.P. (2010). A Practical Method to Account for Strength Variability of DeepMixed Ground. GeoFlorida 2010: Advances in Analysis, Modeling & Design, ASCE Geotechnical
Special Publication, GSP, 199, 2426-2433.
Hodges, D.K., Filz, G.M., and Weatherby, D.E. (2008). Laboratory Mixing, Curing, and Strength
Testing of Soil-Cement Specimens Applicable to the Wet Method of Deep Mixing. CGPR Report #48,
Virginia Tech Center for Geotechnical Practice and Research, Blacksburg, VA.
Japanese Geotechnical Society (JGS). (2000). Practice for Making and Curing Stabilized Soil Specimens
without Compaction. JGS T 0821-2000, Japanese Geotechnical Society, Tokyo, Japan.
Kitazume, M., and Terashi, M. (2013). The Deep Mixing Method. CRC Press/Balkema, Leiden, The
Netherlands.
Larsson, S. (2005). State of practice report execution, monitoring and quality control. Proc. Int. Conf.
on Deep Mixing Best Practices and Recent Advances, (CD-ROM), Swedish Deep Stabilization Research
Centre, Linkoping.
Namikawa, T. and Koseki, J. (2007). Evaluation of tensile strength of cement-treated sand based on
several types of laboratory tests. Soils and Foundations, Japanese Geotechnical Society, 47(4), 657-674.
Saitoh, S., Suzuki, Y., Nishioka, S., and Okumura, R. (1996). Required strength of cement improved
ground. Proc. of the 2nd International Conference on Ground Improvement Geosystems, 1, 557-562.
Schaefer, V.R., Abramson, L.W., Drumheller, J.C., Hussin, J.D., and Sharp, K.D., eds. (1997). Ground
improvement, ground reinforcement, and ground treatment: Developments 1987 to 1997. ASCE
Geotechnical Special Publication, GSP, 69, 130-150.
Terashi, M., Tanaka, H., Mitsumoto, T., Niidome, Y., and Honma, S. (1980). Fundamental properties of
lime and cement treated soils (2nd Report). Report of the Port and Harbour Research Institute, 19(1),
33-62 (in Japanese).
Topolniki, M. (2012). Presented as part of a short course on deep mixing, as summarized by Denies, N.
and Van Lysebetten, G. (2012), "Summary of the Short Courses of the IS-GI 2012, Latest Advances in
Deep Mixing." Proc. Int. Sym. Ground Improvement, ISSMGE TC-211, Brussels.
Vervoot, A., Tavallai, A., Van Lysebetten, G., Maertens, J., Denies, N., Huybrechts, N., De Cock, F., and
Lameire, B. (2012). "Mechanical characterization of large scale soil mix samples and the analysis of the
influence of soil inclusions." Proc. Int. Sym. Ground Improvement, ISSMGE TC-211, Brussels.

834